With affordable 3G plans and Wi-Fi at the workplace and at home, most of us with smartphones are connected to the World Wide Web almost throughout the day. However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t “downtimes” when we’d like to take a break from the influx of information — whether news or updates on what your friends are up to — and while away time on the couch. Here are three apps that make for great “downtime” consumption.

SuperGNES Lite

Do you miss playing your Super Nintendo games from when you were a kid? If you do, then pick up the SuperGNES Lite from Google Play for free, install your favourite ROMs on it, and play with your Android smartphone or tablet as the console.

The app’s emulation is fast, is compatible with a healthy range of games, includes SA1 chip support, works with the Moga and iCade 8-bit controllers, and features thousands of cheat codes from the Game Genie and Pro Action Replay rosters.

A ‘pro’ version is available to buy at Rs. 100. Neither version includes any game titles, and users are advised to install ROMs that are genuine and have been purchased.


The Electrum Drum Machine is a paid app available for Android, and is a programmable drum machine. The app could come in handy for those who aren’t happy with the music they’re already listening to as well as for amateur music composers.

It costs Rs. 216.78 on Google Play. Once installed, you’ll see that the app includes 16 pads, a mixer, WAV file support to load your own music from the SD card, and features compatibility with another app for chopping.

Up to 16 samples can be loaded at a time, and customisations saved separately from the patch. You can also record with your smartphone and import the audio into Electrum, modify time signatures, delay and distort effects, and even do all of it with an external USB MIDI controller.

Khan Academy

Perhaps the best way to unwind is to sit and read something interesting, or learn something that you’ve always wanted to. Enter the Khan Academy and its convenient Android and iOS apps.

Available for free from Google Play and the iTunes store, the apps feature over 2,200 ‘micro-lectures’ on subjects as diverse as mathematics, history, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, economics, and astronomy. Each lecture includes a video tutorial that streams from YouTube.

The user interface is very clean, and makes looking for the videos you want a breeze. At the same time, not many videos are available at this time on the app itself, only 25 for mathematics and there are no links to other videos online that you might want to look at.

That said, they don’t detract from the Khan Academy’s quality of offerings.


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